Everyday Slow: Building your authentic wardrobe with Dacy Gillespie from Mindful Closet
As we continue our reflections on #everydayslow, I knew I had to reach out to my friend Dacy for her thoughts on clothes, how our wardrobes can enhance our lives, and where to even start when looking to create a closet that is built to work for you. I've always loved her realistic, gentle approach to creating a capsule wardrobe or even just the way we look at our closets.
She shared some great insights and speaks to the hidden messages so many of us carry in our minds about what we wear. Read her interview with Descendant below, but also be sure to follow Mindful Closet for more daily support and exploration or to schedule some one-on-one time with Dacy.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Dacy Gillespie, and I own mindful closet, a personal styling service. I help my clients let go of the external messages they’ve been given about what they should wear and get to the heart of what’s making them uncomfortable about their clothes. Through our work building a functional wardrobe, my clients make a mindset shift from thinking they need to buy more and only wear what’s flattering to unapologetically taking up space in the world and doing more with less. I live here in St. Louis with my husband and two young sons.
What does having a "mindful closet" mean to you?
It means that the pieces in your wardrobe have been placed there intentionally. There’s nothing that’s there just by default, because you haven’t gotten rid of it or purchased even though you didn’t need it. That’s the goal at least, what I’m striving for - it’s a process, and no one is perfect!
What do you find to be the most common block people have in finding their authentic style? Can you share a tip that might help overcome this?
It’s 100% the messages they’ve been given over the course of their lives about what they *should* be wearing. Those messages come from mothers, boyfriends, magazines, and Instagram. It takes a lot of reflection to see which messages they’ve internalized and how it shows up in their choices for their wardrobe. The best way to overcome this is to spend some time questioning your assumptions about what you feel like you should wear. Why do you feel like you shouldn’t wear leggings? Why do you think you can’t wear fitted tops? Why do you think you have to wear certain colors? Examine all of these things and only keep the ones that are truly what you want to be doing. Also, gather inspiration while detaching from those messages, and try to listen only to what resonates with you and what you like.
What changes have you seen in your clients who have spent time exploring their personal style?
A whole new world opens up. People have responses like, “you mean I don’t have to wear this thing I’ve been told is the most flattering thing for my body but I hate the look of?” So much more confidence. Feeling comfortable in their skin. Getting dressed in the morning is easier because there isn’t a dissonance between what they feel like they should wear but actually don’t want to put on. Most people also really feel more free when they’ve been given permission to let go of the things they’re holding onto out of guilt.
What is the first thing you would ask or tell someone who was having a hard time finding their style?
It’s a process and it’s ever evolving. First, gather inspiration, and don’t censor yourself. Then, do some experimentation. Try things out. Pay attention to how you feel. Some things will feel good and some won’t. Go through your closet and isolate the things that you *actually* wear. What do they all have in common? Awareness is the first step.
Thank you so much, Dacy!
all images c/o Mindful Closet